Monday, February 28

Mail today

Gerber, P&G, Bed Bath & Beyond, Culvers, Express, Dunkin Donuts
Check this out! This was my mail today! All these coupons! No bills! No junk! Nothing except what's pictured! Sure I won't use all these coupons, some are for products I do not buy and a $1 off still won't entice me to. But I thought it was so strange that I took a picture and decided to share!

Italian wedding soup won BUT...

The votes are in and Italian wedding soup won but unfortunately I made it on my terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-day. So I didn't get any pictures, I can't remember exactly how I made it and honestly did not turn out "blog worthy". I apologize to change the "game" but I got this comment "Julie, I could use ideas for a healthier choice dessert. In the summer we eat fesh fruit but, that's not available. Pie has become a mainstay & it is taking a toll on the weight. Help! "
I decided to do this post on a few desserts Julified. Next week I will faithfully post the winning recipe!

Angel food cake
1 1/2 c. powered sugar
1 c. cake flour
1 1/2 c. egg whites (about 12 eggs)
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tarter
2 tsp. vanillia
1 tsp. almond extract
1/4 tsp. salt

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Mix powered sugar and cake flour
3. In a large bowl beat eggs whites and cream of tartar until foamy.
4. Beat in sugar 2 Tbsp at a time
5. Add vanilla, almond extract w last addition of sugar
6. Continue beating on high until stiff peaks form. Do not underbeat!
7. Fold cake flour mixture into egg whites. DO THIS BY HAND!
8. Pour batter into an ungreased angel food cake pan
9. Bake for 30-35 minutes
10. Invert to let cool

Blueberry Crisp
Crust & topping:
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. oats
3/4 c. walnuts (optional)
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and press half into a greased 9x9 or casserole pan.

1/2 c. sugar
2 Tbsp cornstrach
1 c. cold water
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen

1. Bring all ingredients, except blueberries to a boil. Once boiling, let simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat
2. Gently fold in blueberries.
3. Pour ontop of crust
4. Top w remaining half of crust
5. Bake for 1 hour

Tuesday, February 22

terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

my day started off tired. i tossed and turned all night and im not sure why.
on my way to the grocery store i fell on ice in my driveway, brusing my left knee and hip
i went to kroger, unusal for me, and was highly irriated bc i didnt know where things were
i have been taking bailey out on a leash to go potty and she is being shy and wont go! resulting in multiple trips outside in the cold/rain
went to bradley university and drove around for 15 min. looking for a parking spot
donated blood for the red cross, which wasnt a bad experience in general but not fun either
traffic was bad on my way home and a woman almost hit me, construction and pot holes-arg
forgot to get an ingrediant at the grocery store for dinner. again frustrating me about going to a different store
i got very dizzy and nausea and passed out in the kitchen

Even on our terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days Jesus can show us how blessed we still are. Jesus was w me today and I am so Thankful! Here is what he reminded me of on my very bad day:

Sweet Pea slept through the night!
I was holding Sweet Pea and somehow managed not to drop or even bump her!
I got great sales and spent just under my weekly budget!
Bailey is a sweet dog that protects and loves me!
I have a car to drive!
I saved a life and am healthy enough to donate blood!
The woman didn't hit me!
I had enough ingrediants to make a wonderful meal, Italian wedding soup!
Kenny happened to be home early, before 5, and was there to take care of me and Sweet Pea, who was napping! And it was most likely because of donating blood and nothing more serious!

Tomorrw is going to be a blessed, beautiful, wonderful Christ filled day!!!!

Monday, February 21

Ravioli w Sage Balsamic Vinegar Sauce Wins?!?!?!

My poll shows that Ravioli w Sage Balsamic Vinegar Sauce won the most votes. I am not sure if there is an error because corn chowder was winning all long. I've had errors w the poll in the past but I'm uncertain what is happening. And who knows maybe last minute someone voted for the ravioli?? So this is the recipe I'm going to share- it is so yummy and super quick!

This is a thin sauce and meant to just barely coat pasta!
 1 pkge frozen or refrigerated ravioli or tortellini
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1/4 c. fresh sage, coarsely chopped
dash of pepper
1 tbsp parsley
1/2 c. walnuts
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese

1. Cook ravioli/torellini to package directions
2. In a medium sauce pan melt butter. Add balsamic vinegar, honey, pepper, parsley and sage to a simmer. Continue simmering until reduced slightly
3. Toss together the cooked ravioli and sauce. Add walnuts.
4. Top w Parmesan cheese and serve!

Nutritional Information: serving = 1.5 c.
Cal: 478
Fat: 23
Fiber: 2g
Protein: 17

Saturday, February 19

I am Ready

I Am Ready....

for longer daylight days
to open my windows at home
to wear capris and sandals
to paint my toes (oops I must admit I've been neglecting this)
to drive w my windows down
to go on walks w Sweet Pea & Bailey
to see green grass & leaves on the trees
to grill
to plant my garden
for Easter
to plant flowers
to smell Lilacs, my all time favorite flower

I Am Ready for SPRING :]

Wednesday, February 16

So in Love

This year, Valentine's Day had a WHOLE new meaning!
Beautifully dressed on Sunday for church!

Dressed for the day of LOVE!

Daddy & 1 of his Valentines

Mommy & 1 of her Valentines

Daddy brought home Sweet Pea a teddy bear!

Happy Valentine's Day, Sweet Baby Girl. Mommy & Daddy LOVE you lots!

(Daddy also brought me home flowers and a card. But who wants to see pictures of that?!?! Love you Kenneth!)

Monday, February 14

Inside Out Cookies WIN!!!

Oh Boy, do I love these cookies!

1 pkge milk choc. chips
1 c. butter, at room temperature
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 c. flour
2 tbsp baking coco
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 pkge white choc. chips
1 c. walnuts

-Preheat oven to 350
- Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler. Once melted, remove from heat and let cool (But do not let it harden)
- Cream butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until fluffy
-Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then the melted chocolate
-In separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients, expect white chips and nuts
-Mix all dry ingredients into butter/chocolate mixture, stir until well combined
-Gently stir in white chips and nuts
-Spoon onto cookie sheet
-Bake for aprx 12min. (You need to KNOW your oven for correct cooking time. I bake these cookies for 11min. They always appear soft and under cooked. But  these cookies are easy to burn bc you can't tell when they brown.)
-Enjoy w a glass of milk :)

***To Freeze: You can do it 1 of 3 ways:
1. Bake cookies as instructed above, allow to cool completely then wrap in plastic wrap and place in a gallon Ziploc bag.
2. Roll the dough into cookie balls, place on a cookie sheet in the freezer until frozen through, then transfers to a gallon Ziploc bag.
3. Put all the dough into a freezer safe container & stick in your freezer!

Friday, February 11

Busy Bee

I've been a busy cook this week!

Tuesday I made lemon/blueberry bread for a Mom's Life Meeting on Wednesday morning~

Wednessay I made a potato/sausage casserole for woman's bible study on Thursday morning~
Wednesday I also made Red Velvet cupcakes to celebrate Valentines Day w the lil guy I babysit~

Click for recipe

And Thursday I made Inside out cookies for our Valpo trip! (Do these look yummy? Vote for the recipe)

All ontop of cooking dinners every night this week. But hey...This is what I do....COOK :)

Happy Valentines Day!

To celebrate Valentine's Day the lil guy & I made Red Velvet cupcakes :) It's a fabulous recipe that I got from watching FOOD Network, my drug!

I made these for Halloween, Orange Velvet! I also made them last year for Superbowl when the Colts were playing, Blue Velvet!
2 1/2 c. cake flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. coco powder

1 c. Buttermilk
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. white vinagar
1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. red food coloring, depending on how red you like them. 

-  Preheat oven to 350
-Sift all dry ingredients in a large bowl
- In a seperate bowl add all the wet ingredients
- Combine dry and wet ingredients and scoop into muffin pan. Fill 3/4 way to the top.
- Bake for 20 minutes

1 pkge cream cheese (8oz), room tempature
1 stick of butter, room tempature
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. powdered sugar

-Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat until smooth. If too thick add a splash of milk. If too thin add more powdered sugar!

A 5 yr old's work station!
I decorated the cupcakes w the 5 year old boy I watch. He loved them, ate 3 but shhhh don't tell his mom! He had a blast decorating them and after I got over them looking PERFECT I did too. At one point he mixed the 2 colors of icing, I said "Oh No, B! You mixed the colors. Now there is red in the white!" He replied "It doesn't matter" Ha, and ya know what? It didn't matter! He taught me a lesson! Enjoy these w your sweetie!!!

Monday, February 7

Biscuits & Gravy, Julified WINS the most votes!

I took a classic breakfast, Biscuits & Gravy and made a few changes to cut some fat and calories. I know many of you will say "If I'm going to eat B&G I might as well go all out!" Although I agree with this way of thinking sometimes; I tried to come up with a version of B&G that has so much flavor you can enjoy them often and not feel so guilty about it! My mom was here when I made these and she said "They were so good! I wasn't sure if they would have the flavor that "bad for you" biscuits & gravy have. Sure did, yummy!" Trust me, she would have let me know if she didn't like them :) So here is the recipe-try them out and let me know your review! Honestly, I'd love to hear it!
Sorry, but I do not have any pictures of this recipe! Saturday morning, when I made this, Tamale pie was wining by quite a bit that I didn't think I need to snap photos :( Sorry!

Biscuits: Makes 10 biscuits
1/3 c. butter, softened
1 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. AP flour + more for dusting
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 c. skim milk

-Preheat oven to 450
-Combine all dry ingredients into large bowl and cut in butter w pastry blender until mixture is course and crumbly
-Pour in milk all at once and stir just until combined. Form into a ball
-Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Roll until about 1/2 inch thick
-Cut out biscuits using aprox. 1in cookie/biscuit cutter (I rerolled dough 1x)
-Bake for 10min. or until tops are golden brown

Nutrition Information for Julified Biscuits: 1 biscuit = 3 WW pts
Cal: 141
Fat: 7g
Carbs: 17g
Fiber: 2g
Nutrition Information for Regular Biscuits: 1 biscuit = 4 WW pts
Cal: 159
Fat: 8g
Carbs: 18g
Fiber: 1g

1 lb. turkey sausage
1 tbsp olive oil ( I had to add this bc I didn't get enough grease to make a rue)
2 tbsp. flour
1 c. fat free half & half
1/2 c. skim milk
spices: pepper, sage, crushed red pepper flakes, smoked paprika and thyme. Add as much or little to your liking. This is how I added flavor to copy regular B&G.

1. In a large skillet over medium heat add spices to turkey sausage and cook through.
2. Remove sausage or move to side of skillet and add olive oil and flour. Cook rue for 2minutes.
3. Whisk in half & half and milk.
4. Bring to a slight simmer or until gravy thickens, about 5minutes!
5. Add more pepper to taste

Nutrtional Information for Julified gravy:  1/4c.= serving 2 WW pts
Cal: 86g
Fat: 4g
Carbs: 1g
Fiber: 0g
Nutritional Information for regular gravy: 1/4c.= serving 3 WW pts
Cal: 128
Fat: 10g
Carbs: 1 g
Fiber: 1g

I was happy to see how much fat and the WW points I was able to cut out. Keep in mind, I obtained nutritional information for 1 biscuit and 1/4c. gravy. An average serving of B&G would be 2 biscuits and 1/2c. gravy! So, instead of 14pts I cut it down to 10pts total!

Friday, February 4


I CAN NOT BELIEVE THIS YUMMY SOUP HASN'T GOTTEN ANY VOTES W THE WEATHER WE'VE BEEN HAVING! Tamale pie is winning and I'm happy and excited to share that recipe. Stay tuned :)

Thursday, February 3

My Sweet Pea & My Savior

Ah, my Sweet Pea is 10months! How fast it’s all gone! I am amazed how inquisitive she is becoming. I love watching from a distance as she tries to open a drawer or find a toy that rolled under the couch. She’s becoming more independent. In the past there was times when she insisted I hold her ALL the time. That phase has hopefully passed for good but there are still many moments when she needs me! Right before naps/bed she gets really whiny. She’ll crawl over to me or pull on my leg and holler until I pick her up. When she wakes in her crib, most often, she’ll bawl and bawl. But as soon as I open the door and she sees me, she stops crying! Just the other day she bonked her eye on a corner and started screaming. I rushed to her, picked her up and she almost immediately stopped crying. Why am I such a comfort to her? What it is about Mom that brings so much relief? I don’t do anything different than Daddy or her Grammies/aunties!
I came to the conclusion that it must be the same reason that I find so much comfort in my Savior, Jesus Christ. If I am scared (most likely because I’m home alone! HA) I turn to prayer and automatically feel comforted. When I’m confused or worried I find relief in scriptures. In general, I am at ease traveling through this lovely life and I know it is because I find relief in Christ. I know that my life is lead by him and whatever happens is all a part of his plan for me.
Isaiah 49:13 Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion of the afflicted ones.
Isaiah 66:13 As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you. (when I was looking for scriptures about comfort I found this one! How fitting & perfect for this post!)